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Apartment dweller (Irvine, CA) - is electric car a practical choice?

In those extreme low milage cases like her we didn't even recommend a hybrid because of the additional costs all around
The Toyota Prius has very little repairs needed, I had one from 0 miles to 306,000 miles (sold it still running great) and lifetime total repairs were less than $2,000 parts and labor.

You absolutely picked the best vehicle type for her 👍 because almost all (non-plugin) hybrids use NIMH batteries: high self-discharge. They also run inefficiently during startup to accelerate catalytic converter heat-up; reducing pollution in exchange for losing some MPG.
So If you don't drive a NIMH Prius twice a week (or at least 8 miles distance), it's going to burn some extra gas to recharge its hybrid battery every trip.
If you wait a month or longer between drives, it can discharge enough to freak out (check engine light) and eventually lose cell balance (requiring external balancing).

Plug-in hybrids such as the Prius Prime have Lithium batteries and don't suffer these effects, since Lithiums maintain their charge for years instead of months.
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Big Earl

Supporting Member
Jul 12, 2017
La Conner, WA
I am living in an apartment in Irvine,CA.

When I bought by Tesla model 3 awd, 3 months back I was kind of anxious about charging. But since apartment had a total of 10 6KW chargepoint stations (2 per floor in the parking garage), I was thinking this might work out somehow - but I had my doubts.

- Charging infrastructure: A while back 2 of the chargepoint stations stopped working - and have not been fixed for months. The apartment people responded that they cannot get a hold of chargepoint/ they are not responsive. They are thinking of changing providers. Since then 2 more of the stations stopped working - and I am not feeling like these are going to get fixed any time soon (i.e., months/years). Also I have looked for a 6kW public station - but have not been able to locate one at a convenient location yet.

- Number of EVs: Also, I am seeing a lot more Teslas in this apartment and the count seems to be growing (must be in the 60s for a 5 floor apartment complex).

- Behavior pattern of folks who charge EVs: So, in recent days I am not finding available stations. Some folks put in their cars and do not remove them promptly - i.e., cars occupy the slots for hours (> 5 hrs) after being fully charged.

- Battery care: I have learnt that using the Supercharger too frequently will reduce capacity of the battery - so I don't want to do that also. There are multiple superchargers in this area.

- EV Range: I charge from 15-20% to 80% on most occasions. The range I am seeing for the car is not what I expected. The wh/mi is close to 300 on most city driving situations. I have to charge 2 times a week - I must be driving less than 40 miles per day. Tesla has the miles driven per day in the Safety Score app feature - but looks like that has been removed now. I am thinking of keeping track of the miles per charge to get a better understanding of this - just wished Tesla has some built in statistics. I wish there was more trasparency from Tesla on what kind of range to expect. They keep saying that range depends on multiple factors - but I am thinking there should be a band between best case scenario and worst case scenario - and this should communicated directly by Tesla (not via YouTube channels). The overtly optimistic range values are not useful. I even tried the chill mode - but it was not practical and did not improve the range much.

Given that above issues - I think Tesla owners need to have access to a daily 6kW charger every day - otherwise this ownership is not really practical.

What does the community think?

Also, do apartment folks use public 6kW stations and if so how does that work out? Does any one know of options in Irvine area?

I second the recommendation to reach out to Tesla Commercial Charging. I think you, your fellow tenants, and management will all have a better experience and save money overall.

This also gives your apartment complex an opportunity to install more charging stations on the same power infrastructure, utilizing Tesla’s dynamic power sharing feature that is superior to Chargepoint’s.
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